Clay Formations in Dunes, Death Valley, California

A dry lake is an ephemeral lakebed, or a remnant of an endorheic lake. Such flats consist of fine-grained sediments infused with alkali salts. Alternative names for the dry lake include alkali flat, alkali sink and playa.

A playa lake may cover a wide area, but it is never deep. Most water in it evaporates, leaving a layer of salt on the surface. These salt covered stretches are called saltpans.

If its basin is primarily salt then the dry lake is called a salt pan, pan, hardpan, or salt flat (the latter is a remnant of a salt lake). Other dry lake types include the sabkha and the mudflat.

Clay Formations in Dunes, Death Valley, California

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